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diskrescue is a tool to verify and/or recover as much data as possible from failed disks.

The idea is to read all sectors of a disk and let the disk reallocate bad or soon to be bad sectors.  While the disk is being read it can clone the data to a file or a disk as well.  The resulting disk/file can be checked with fsck(8) and analyzed with dumpfs(8) and fsdb(8) while not having to deal with a failing disk.

When a sector can not be read it will be filled with zeroes and diskrescue continues on to the next sector.  For all intents and purposes this is a fancy dd(1) that takes some of the complexity out of dealing with a failed disk.

Diskrescue resources